Fish Kill in Coastal Community

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Fish Kills in Coastal Community

Not one, but two reports of fish kills in the small coastal community of Sneads Ferry.

On September 13th, 2022 a citizen reported seeing dead fish of all sizes in a Chadwick Shores neighborhood pond. An NCDEQ Water Quality inspector visited the site the next day and observed 5-10 dead fish, mostly consisting of red drums. No unusual color or odor from the pond had been noted on this day. It was theorized that heavy rain may have flushed a load of organic matter from the wetland which drains into the pond, which also receives runoff from the roads in that area. On September 18th a citizen indicated that the water was darker than the day of initial inspection, but found that it cleared up the next day.

This event happened in Everett lake, located in the Chadwick Shores neighborhood of Sneads Ferry, North Carolina. Chadwick Shores is located along the Fullard Creek at the mouth of the New River.

The concerned Chadwick Shores citizen followed proper procedure and contacted local state water quality personnel. Anyone who sees foul smelling water or dead fish in a body of water are encouraged to contact their regional DEQ office staff.

Water Quality inspectors will continue tracking any news from the area. They will be sending a Wildlife Biologist out to the site in a few weeks, but because of staffing it may take a while for them to do a thorough assessment of the pond. Priority is given to suspicious/non-natural situations and because the DEQ inspector that came out stated the event was most likely caused by dissolved oxygen and no other animal mortalities were observed, it will be a lower priority.

In the same community of Sneads Ferry, at the end of Fannie Creek Lane along the New River, there is a much larger algae bloom seen late yesterday evening (9.20.22) with fish kills reported. This bloom was reported by Adam Jones, CCRW Advocacy Committee Member and local community member. Mr. Jones has reported this bloom to the State and CCRW will be following-up on and filling-in when needed on algae identification and analysis. Stay tuned for a full report on this later this week.

The NC Division of Water Resources has recently established an online reporting system where citizens can also report suspicious water using their phone, tablet, or computer. That online survey can be found here:

WiRO attributes the bad water in the bays and boat basin as stagnant water that is being held by all the NNE wind. NE wind is not common for long durations in September when the water is warm. There is nothing that we can think we could sample for at this moment. It seems a natural occurrence that will resolve itself when the weather pattern changes and especially when the water temps drop.” – Morella King, NCDENR


Fish Kills are usually influenced by manmade pressures including the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and impervious surfaces. These contaminants flow into waterways and harm the organisms that live there. The best way to prevent Fish Kills is by stopping these contaminants from getting into waterways in the first place.

Residents of coastal communities can make a big difference by following proper application instructions on pesticides and fertilizers. Only use as much as you need, where you need it and do not apply them before wet weather. Residents can also ensure to properly dispose of lawn clippings and plant debris to prevent them from entering waterways, where they can add excess nutrients and cloud the water.

Communities can prevent Fish Kills by implementing good stormwater management and by

familiarizing themselves with coastal processes and how water moves through the property.

Rachel, a community HOA member, reached out to the residents of Chadwick Shores stating “Until we know the extent of this issue we suggest that no one fish in the pond and you keep your children and animals away from the area.”

CCRW Waterkeeper, Riley Lewis, encourages citizens to use the NCDEQ online reporting system:

and the Fish Kill and Algal Bloom Report Dashboard where you can keep track of current and past fish kills and algal blooms in all of North Carolina.

That dashboard can be found here:

The causes of Fish Kills and Algal Blooms can be very serious and potentially harm humans and pets, so “When in doubt, stay out!”

For current updates on this water quality impact, please contact, hoaboard

For more info about local water quality information, please contact:

Riley Lewis,

White Oak Waterkeeper

Coastal Carolina Riverwatch


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